NHS news review

Discussion of NHS Croydon’s £35Million defecit.

Public-sector including NHS pensions negotiations: Unions mostly return to their executives to consider the offer. PCS holds out.

Other news: HMRC has a cosy relationship with the tax avoidance industry | Prem Sikka | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

NHS Croydon’s £35million overspend could hault hospital foundation trust bid | This is Croydon

A £35 million overspend in NHS Croydon’s finances could prove terminal to Croydon University Hospital’s bid for Foundation Status, it was warned this week.
As an urgent investigation looks into how this happened, concern has surfaced about the impact this could have on Croydon University Hospital.

Croydon Health Services (CHS), the trust which runs the hospital, admitted it has no idea how it will be affected by the plan to claw back the money. The hospital is reliant on the millions of pounds worth of services it is commissioned to provide for the PCT.

Any reduction in this income would threaten its credible long term business plan, which the hospital must have if it is to be granted Foundation Status and avoid being merged with another trust.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell told the Advertiser: “Foundation status is absolutely critical.

“Croydon needs its own independent, major hospital, not a trust covering our borough and somewhere in north London.

“To be granted that status a trust has to have a viable business plan and the problems the PCT is experiencing are bound to impact on that.

“My concern is fewer services will be commissioned through the hospital, meaning it would need fewer beds and nurses.”

Unions dispute ‘final offer’ for NHS pensions reforms | Metro.co.uk

Britain’s biggest public sector union, Unison, said it would put the government’s ‘final offer’ to its health committee, which will decide whether to approve it on January 10.

The TUC’s Brendan Barber emerged from negotiations last night having made ‘real progress’. But he cautioned there was ‘no agreement yet’.

Under the amended plans, staff less than ten years from retirement would not face any change to their pension, while those earning less than £26,000 would be protected from an increase in contributions next year.

Unison’s Christina McAnea said: ‘On some issues, we have made progress.

On others, we always knew this would be a damage-limitation exercise.’

Other NHS unions, including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Midwives, also agreed to take the new deal back to their members.

But the biggest civil service union, PCS, which did not take part in yesterday’s negotiations, claimed ‘nothing had changed’ since last month’s strikes.

‘We continue to oppose the government’s attempt to force public servants to pay more and work longer for less,’ general secretary Mark Serwotka said.

Downing Street said it hoped to reach a deal by the end of the month.

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